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People pointers

Keeping track of your responsibilities as an employer can be difficult. It is therefore vital to familiarise yourself with the most important aspects of human resource management and what you need do to keep everything running smoothly.

Human resources or HR is a term that refers to the people who work for a company. In situations where a company is sufficiently large, it also is used to refer to the department responsible for managing those resources, such as hiring and training new employees, and any other employee related issues.

Any business that has paid employees on its book has to comply with regulatory requirements and employment law is a complex topic that cannot be taken lightly.

Reputational risk

Get your human resources management wrong and you could end up paying for it – literally – while seeing the good name of your business ruined. But if you take the right approach you will not only be able to retain good people, but also motivate them to work hard and do their best.

The starting point is ensuring that all employees (permanent, temporary or fixed term) are provided with a contract/written particulars of employment within two months of commencing employment and are given a copy of the disciplinary procedure within 28 days of signing a contract of employment.

An employer must also notify each new employee, in writing, within five days of commencement of employment of the full names of the employer and the employee; the address of the employer; the expected duration of the contract; the rate or method of calculation of the employee’s pay; and the number of hours the employer reasonably expects the employee to work per normal working day and per normal working week.

Record takers

Employers are legally obliged to maintain records of days and total hours worked by all employees for a period of three years. Any information relating to job applications, interviews, or screening criteria must be kept on file for a period of one year after application.

If you are employing people under the age of 18 you have to ensure that employment done during the school year does not put their education at risk. The law provides for rest intervals and maximum working hours, and prohibits the employment of those under the age of

18 on late night work.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has the power to enter any premises and demand to see employment records, working time records and any documentation associated with the employment of staff.

Employment expenses

The fines for breaches of employment regulations are significant. In addition, workers are more aware of their rights than ever before and therefore more likely to take cases against their employer.

It is important to note that a part-time employee may not be treated less favourably than a comparable full time employee in respect of any condition of employment.

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 cover employees in both the public and private sectors as well as applicants for employment and training. The Acts outlaw discrimination in work-related areas such as pay, vocational training, access to employment, work experience and promotion. Cases involving harassment and victimisation at work are also covered.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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